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Moving abroad often brings a host of changes and financial challenges, particularly in managing your family's finances in India. Before you move abroad, it is essential to put together a plan of action and ensure that necessary arrangements are in place to support your loved ones back home in India.
Here are a few ways to handle your family's banking and financial needs:
Set up joint Non-Resident Indian (NRI) accounts with your family members
Once you move abroad, you may open joint NRI accounts with your family members. As an NRI, you can open a joint Non-Resident External (NRE)/Foreign Currency Non-Resident Bank (FCNR (B)) account with a resident relative* or open a joint Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) account with any resident Indian on a former or survivor* basis.
This will help you:
- Transfer money to the joint account held with your relative to access funds that which can be utilised by them to pay bills, make purchases and withdraw cash.
- If you regularly transfer money to your family members in India, opening a joint NRI account can help you save on money transfer fees costs, which you would otherwise incur on money exchange remittance platforms.
It is pertinent to note that a resident joint account holder (such as elderly parents, spouse, or children residing in India) can operate the account only in case of the demise of the NRI account holder. For them to operate the account, you will have to appoint them as a Power of Attorney (PoA) or a mandate holder.
Click here to read more about the benefits and process of adding joint holders to your NRI accounts.
*Relative is defined under section 2 (77) of the Companies Act, 2013. This includes their parents (including stepparents), son (including stepson), son’s wife, daughter, daughter’s husband, siblings (including stepsiblings), and children.
**The term ‘former’ or ‘survivor’ basis refers to the condition where only one of the two joint account holders that is the former account holder can primarily operate the account. The ‘Survivor’ can only operate the account after the ‘Former’ passes away.
Explore money transfer options before you send money
To remit money to your family in India, you can use your bank’s digital channels or visit their international branches, and other online channels such as:
- Online transfer: Various banks and fintech players provide digital platforms that allow you to send money to India. NRIs having accounts with any bank can use ICICI Bank’s Money2India (for Canada, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United States (US)) and and Money2India Europe to transfer funds.
- Branch transfer: Generally, you can visit an overseas branch of your bank to initiate an inward remittance to India. You will have to provide your and the recipient’s details, including the name, bank account number and contact details (for both parties). Additionally, you will have to detail out the purpose of the remittance. The bank or the financial institution will then process your request.
- Smart Wire: You can use ICICI Bank Smart Wire to send money to India. It allows the beneficiary to initiate the request, submit online declarations and documents, block the exchange rates and easily track the transaction's status. Smart Wire makes it possible to process remittances quickly and efficiently, saving time for beneficiaries.
- Cross border Unified Payments Interface (UPI): The international arm of the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), NPCI International Payments Limited (NIPL), has now developed the capability to send money overseas using cross-border UPI. This service is already available in the India-Singapore corridor and is being extended to other countries as well.
Set up automated payments for your EMIs and investments
You may want to set up auto debits on your NRO/NRE accounts for recurring bills to avoid any missed payments. These can include utility bills, Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs), rent payments, insurance premiums, any ongoing investments and credit card dues.
When relocating abroad, you should create a detailed plan for managing your family's financial needs in India. By taking steps like opening joint NRI accounts, using efficient money transfer services for inward remittances, automating bill payments and giving someone the PoA or a mandate to manage your bank account, you can ensure the well-being and financial stability of your loved ones.
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